Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Car Thief - A coming-of-age novel that will steal your heart...


Title: The Car Thief
Author: Theodore Weesner
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions

Release Date: May 7th' 2012
Available to order here: Amazon  / Barnes & Noble


Hailed by The Boston Globe as "so poignant and beautifully written, so true and painful, that one can't read it without feeling the knife's cruel blade in the heart", The Car Thief was first published to enormous popularity, and sold over half a million copies.

Alex Housman is a kid who at the age of sixteen has had fourteen cars, harbors many hurts, and seems to fade into his environment while raging inside. His father is an alcoholic, losing his grip on life even as he wants the best for his son. The Car Thief explores the love Alex and his father share, in a tremendously poignant story that is filled with unusual triumphs.

About the Author

Theodore Weesner, born in Flint, Michigan, is aptly described as a “Writers’ Writer” by the larger literary community.  His short works have been published in the New Yorker, Esquire, Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic Monthly and Best American Short Stories.  His novels, including The True Detective, Winning the City and Harbor Light, have been published to great critical acclaim in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Magazine and The Los Angeles Times to name a few.

Weesner is currently writing his memoir, two new novels, and an adaptation of his widely praised novel—retitled Winning the City Redux—also to be published by Astor + Blue Editions.  He lives and works in Portsmouth, NH.

My Review

It is rare, quite rare, to come across a novel that grabs you from the very first page. For me, "The Car Thief" by Theodore Weesner was one such book. As a matter of fact, technically, I was already hooked before the first page. I was hooked from the "Author's Note" onwards.

"The Car Thief" is essentially about the outcry of a teenage son, in reaction to the behavior of his alcoholic and ever working father. But, by no means, is it simply just a novel about that. It is a supremely written "coming of age" narrative, that beautifully explores human frailty, the fragility of the human psyche, and the tender undoing of a young heart. Teetering and tottering back and forth between being a depressed teenager and an adrenaline junkie, Alex Housman is a car thief. He steals cars without knowing why. Alone and abandoned, he passes his days being a delinquent and looking for constant approval from pretty Irene Shaeffer, all the while craving love and attention from his father, yet, not being able to adequately express this sentiment. 

Alex is a young boy, on the verge of manhood, who has to learn how to live and act like an adult in the world of adults due to the negligence of his father. A father who also loves him, and like Alex, is unable to express it. But instead of pearls of wisdom from his father, Alex is faced with a parent who has all but drowned himself in a bottle of liquor. Rebellious, and angered, he finds an outlet for his emotions via stealing cars. 

The literary beauty of this book lies in the stark plainness of its language, but the strength of this book lies in the complexity of it's characters. It may seem like Alex is a character to either be despised (for he is a car thief), or to be pitied (for he is a young boy abandoned by his father) - but I was surprised to realize that I found myself actually admiring Alex. A novel that chronicles the life of one father and son in a blue-collar community, this book is sure to mesmerize you and be remembered for years to come!

My Rating : 5/5 Stars

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book via Blue Dot Literary for review. I was not compensated monetarily, or in any other way, for my opinion. The opinions stated in this review are solely mine, and are not representative of views of the author, or publishing company, of this book. 


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